View Full Version : Mozilla vs. Mozilla Firebird

Graham Petrie
10-12-2003, 01:23 PM

I am interested in hearing about the major differences between these two browsers from users of both. The Mozilla (http://www.mozilla.org) site is of no real use with the only obvious difference being that Firebird is still in Beta.



Murray P
10-12-2003, 01:31 PM
Appologies for, in part, disregarding your post.

I don't use Mozilla but do use Firebird 0.7. Firebird does not have the built in email client and some of the fundtionality of Mozilla but is a stripped down version.

Thus far, I've had no stability issues with Firebird, it's pretty mature and I think the beta is for 0.7 version only.

Cheers Murray P

10-12-2003, 03:22 PM
I converted from mozilla to firebird when 0.7 was released. It is built mostly from mozilla code so it is much more stable than the version number implies (as with thunderbird). If it was commercial software the version number would be at least 2.0.

The main differences I've noticed:

- On windows esp. firebird starts faster, and the interface is generally faster than mozilla (same speed as native windows). The page rendering speed etc is still the same.

- They have cleaned out the menus. (In mozilla having to go File->New->Window always bugged me). Some of the prefs. available in mozilla are hidden (eg. GIF animation options), but still accessible through about:config.

- The toolbar is more customisable than mozilla. And it has a nice clean default theme (the NS4 look is getting a little old).

Otherwise it is generally the same as mozilla.

Graham Petrie
10-12-2003, 04:14 PM
Thanks to both of you. Will give firebird a go.


10-12-2003, 04:14 PM
MozillaFirebird is the future, they wre expecting 1.5 of Mozilla to be their last release but apparently they'll go right through to 1.7 before making MozillaFirebird the "Official" browser or something.

Basically they're re-doing the MozillaSuite and MozillaFirebird and Thunderbird are going to be the main parts of it :-)

Bring it on I say :D

Poppa John
10-12-2003, 04:30 PM
Off Topic..hello GP, how are you keeping? Still liking Auckland? How are you coping with the weather & traffic? Poppa John ( happy Wanganui person) :D :D :D

Graham Petrie
10-12-2003, 05:32 PM
Hi PJ,

I suppose we can allow a bit of OT since my question has been answered. Yep still in Aucks - Totara Heights. And still working in Papatoetoe, but have itchy feet. I am in the process of doing the maths for a move to the Bay of Islands (Probably Russell, Kerikeri or further north like whangaroa).

All depends on the availability of work.

Hope Wanganui is treating you right, and M is all good. It's been a while since I visited the forums what with no internet at home, and work busy as. Got myself into some financial deep water over a few errors of judgement, and am in the process of climbing out (hence the no internet).

Anyway, good to see all the regs are still here. Might have to make an official reappearance next year.


Susan B
10-12-2003, 06:05 PM
Hi Graham, nice to see you back. Gave me a bit of a fright though, because I was only just thinking about you yesterday and wondering where you had got to. :-)

Regarding Mozilla vs Firebird, as the others have said Firebird is the cut-down version. Mozilla has an email client, webpage composer (I think - unless it is Netscape I am getting mixed up with), a chat thing (IRC) and newsgroup thing like Outlook Express.

Glad to hear that you are going to give Firebird a go, I have been using it for a while now and love it. Don't forget to check out the extensions as well for more tricks to add to it. ;-)

11-12-2003, 09:29 AM
I use firebird occasionally like its simplicity and speed small and lean is what a browser should be , I am still more of a Opera fan though

11-12-2003, 09:30 AM
K-Meleon has a similar feel to firebird

11-12-2003, 09:40 AM
Howdy Graeme, I just installed F/B 2 days ago and it is fast,the only problem I have is changing themes.When I go to get new themes,there are none to get,I have spent some time on this but as yet still no joy.Was just wondering,if you do happen to get F/B, could you try the" get new themes" and let me know what happens,
Thanks DD

11-12-2003, 09:41 AM
Sorry...spelt your name incorrectly

11-12-2003, 09:44 AM
I have personally found Mozilla with it's "Modern" theme to be a lot easier to use, with a much more user-friendly interface. I have tried Mozilla Firebird, but in my personal opinion it is nowhere near as good as Mozilla is.

11-12-2003, 11:03 AM
Same as somebody. I tried both Mozilla and Firebird, and they both look nice, but I much prefer the extra configuration available in Edit -> Preferences that Mozilla has.

I find, personally, that Firebird seems to have narrowed down the configuration options to broader categories - something I don't want.

All the same, I might check out the about:config thing and see if I can get Firebird exactly the same as my current Mozilla set up.

11-12-2003, 11:30 AM
In about:config you can control all the options, it's like the registry for mozilla.

11-12-2003, 02:13 PM
Very cool JM, Thanks for that!!!!!

20-12-2003, 11:07 PM

I'm the prinicipal dev engineer on Firebird, and former Aucklander ;-)

This is a common question, and I hope to get a worthwhile document together on the Firebird section of the mozorg products page sometime in the new year to explain some of the differences.

Firebird has some feature differences:

- integrated Google search toolbar field (you can add other search engines to it too if you want)
- fully configurable toolbars (you can place things where you want on each row, create new toolbars, etc. compared to Mozilla's on/off switch and fixed placement for its buttons)
- significantly enhanced Options window that allows easier removal of privacy data (such as browsing history)
- extension mechanism that allows plug in modules to add additional features (over a hundred available now at http://extensionroom.mozdev.org/)

Some of the less well known functions, new from 0.7:
- ability to automatically download all files to desktop or other location, like Mac browsers... this removes the "Save As" box when in this mode... which is largely a useless annoyance if you save all your files to the same place.
- option to disable the full page plugin for various types, so (for example) that clicking a link to a .mov file will offer to download the file instead of displaying it in the browser window (useful for movies, PDF files, etc where the external helper app offers more functions than the browser plugin).

Firebird 0.8 is coming soon (early new year), and will also have a variety of refinements to Bookmarks, Tabbed Browsing, File Downloading, Extension installation, and a new installer for Windows that makes plugins like Flash autodetect properly. Mac users can look forward to a new, Aqua style theme.

Aside from the big "feature" list there are just a number of ways in which Firebird works better than Mozilla. An example is: enter a query in the location bar and hit enter and the browser performs a google "I'm feeling lucky" search. There are many little things like this that may not seem like much (and are hard to remember when writing lists like this) but when you're forced to live without them browsing becomes very difficult!


20-12-2003, 11:25 PM
Hi Ben,
Welcome to PressF1

Its always nice to see the people who offer/make the products pop in every now and again :-)

Hope you'll stay around and offer input in more than just this thread.

I also wanted to congratulate yourself and the rest of the devel team for such an awesome product that you should be proud of!

...Aucklander eh.. ;-)

I look forward to 0.8!



21-12-2003, 12:44 AM
Hi Ben, welcome to PressF1.

Good to see someone that develops the programs we use posting around here. Also a few other Firebird users hang around here (http://forums.overclockers.co.nz). ;-)

21-12-2003, 05:14 AM
I've been using Firebird for some months now.....exclusively, except for the odd thing that seems to demand I.E. ( have not added plugins).

I had only one small glitch the other day .....when I started up Firebird it had "spontaneously" lost all my settings (passwords/cookie cache, etc.) but bookmarks were ok. Not a problem to reinstate all these.

A great piece of software


21-12-2003, 08:14 AM
I use Mozilla 1.4. It takes a bit longer to start, but I have found lots more skins and plugins for it, like a mozilla google toolbar!

22-12-2003, 07:50 PM
Keep up the good work it is much appreciated. :D